Joe Crawford is the next person from the club to feature in the series of ‘Why I Love Larne FC’ as he talks about his role at the club and what motivates him to be involved within his local club.
What’s your name and what is your role at Larne Football Club?
My name is Joe Crawford and I am a Sports Therapist at the club, focusing on Rehabilitation and Masseuse within the first-team setup.
What do you do within your role on a daily basis at the club?
The role changes at different stages of the season really. My schedule and workload will vary depending on whether it is pre-season, the middle of the campaign or post-season. In general, it is my role to keep up to date with injuries, muscle pain/strains and assist in all types of rehab, massage and figure recording, if or when required.
With matchdays being different, what would you do for a home game at Inver Park?
Usually at home games, I am tasked with making sure that all of the players are fit and healthy pre-match, which involves them coming to me for treatment if they feel any muscle pain or soreness etc.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is going to change the geography of my work. The health and safety of the squad is paramount, and the strict regulations are to be adhered to so that we can all work in a safe environment. In the case whereby we have any suspected symptoms, everything will stop immediately, and we will follow all protocols. Hopefully there will be no need for these actions to be taken and we will be able to start playing football again at Inver Park, bringing joy to the town at the same time.
How did you get involved with Larne Football Club?
I remember as a teenager being asked to come and play for the club. Unfortunately, back then I had to put my working career first rather than prioritising football, so I declined and played for G.E.C. and sincerely enjoyed it. Regularly I was approached to sign for Larne, but my job kept me at arms-length, and I wasn’t allowed to join at the time.
About seven years ago, I finally joined as a Physiotherapist. Graham McConnell was the manager at the time, and I enjoyed three years at Inver Park before leaving my role. After two years away from the club, Kenny Bruce asked me to come back and I didn’t have to be asked twice as I love the club and it makes it even better that it’s my hometown.
Do you find it easy to manage your other commitments along with your role at club, how do you do it?
Yes, voluntary work is fairly easily managed. I would prioritise my work at Inver Park over any of this as I only do it when I have some spare time.
And finally, why do you love the club and what motivates you to carry out your role at Larne Football Club?
I love the club because it is in my blood, I live and breathe it. What Kenny Bruce has done to rejuvenate the town is nothing short of a miracle. The people have supported us everything that he has done and I know they will continue to do so. It’s just what Larne is all about, we never give up and never stop believing.